Mother's obit puppet...well, kind of

Before I begin, I have to give credit for this idea to my mother. Now, I'm a touch concerned that the following piece might upset some people, since many human beings have morphed into toddlers, with skin so thin that veins are visible to the point of resembling road maps.

In other words, in my humble opinion, a wind of seriousness has swept over the land and, in doing so, has whisked away many a sense of humor in the process.

This breeze has left in its wake much outrage over everything from political statements to tongue and cheek words spoken in this very space.

As I've mentioned before, the sudden theme of being overly offended over the most minor infractions, is something that drives many people to either become more offensive, in order to stir the pot—that would be one Lisa Houserman, and has led others to tip toe through the tulips, much like Tiny Tim. (If you remember Tiny, you will get it. If not, Google him or seize an encyclopedia.)

In other words, I told Mother that some readers might throw tantrums but, I'm still going to do it because, I agree, wholeheartedly, with that delightful woman.

We are both perplexed about something having to do with obituaries. More about the actual subject matter later, as I must continue my trademark, lengthier-than-the-human-intestines-when-stretched-out, introduction. (Yuck, why did I use that comparison?)

This isn't really a total, to the max, full-blown rant, as I'm not full of hatred, ire and all those other words. However, Mother seems to be, so, I shall be her puppet and she can rage wildly and vicariously, through her favorite kid—that would be me, by the by.

As I've mentioned a thousand times before, Mother CLAIMS that since she reached her late eighties, she imparts her true feelings. That is NOT true.

Don't misunderstand, she absolutely, 100% bellows her opinions, when asked to do so and when begged not to do so, but, this has ALWAYS been the case.

Don't fall for the, “Since I became an old woman....,” crapola, because it's simply false, false, false.

I remember Mother when she was in her forties, I think, yes, that would be right, and she spoke before thinking then, too.

She's not pulling the wool, or, in her case, gently draping the flowing silk scarf, over anyone's eyes so, keep that in mind.

Getting to whatever on earth the topic of this column is—oh, the obits, that's right. What drives Mother to telephone me and say, “I have a rant for you,” in the voice of Judy Judgmental, is the following.

She, and I, both, wonder why it is that when a 98 year-old man, for instances, leaves this world, there is, more oft' than not, a picture from his high school graduation placed beside him, in the obituary.

I'm sure you've seen this bizarrity, (yes, I just made up a word—artistic license and all), when you've flipped to the death page.

I don't comprehend at all. Why don't folks place a picture, of the deceased, that is at least from this century?

The reader often has a difficult time recognizing Uncle Edward, since he looks like he just got off the school bus and had a snapshot taken.

Now, I can understand if a person has been really sick, and all photographs reflect that. However, I bet a likeness from maybe even 10 to 20 years prior, to the departure, would be fine.

Actually, Aunt Liz, (AL), had an idea, when I told her about my delivery of Mother's words, in this piece. (Well, mine too but, as stated above, I'm not quite as wound up about it all. I do find the whole thing to be odd, so I cannot put this all on Mommy.)

She said that maybe, for instance, if a person served in the military, a photo could be placed from that era, beside, or near, a more up-to-date likeness.

That's a terrific thought on the part of AL. You know, she does actually possess some interesting advice from time to time, and this is one of those times. (Did I say time enough in that sentence? I wasn't sure so I thought I'd ask.)

Well, after excitedly telling AL that her idea would appear in print, she notified me of something. Evidently, she has SEEN the two pic scenario. Therefore, she is not all that brilliant but, was simply talking to me about methods she has observed.

I still must give her deserved accolades for bringing it to my attention. (Can you tell that I don't look at the obits? It's the FIRST place Perpetual, fiance, and AL head, when the paper lands in their hands. I avoid it like work—I mean, like the plague, and leave it up to one of the two, to let me know if I'm still living.)

As was explained in a recent column—the one in which I shocked all in my path and RAVED about Mother, she has her pictures and obit prepped and ready for action.

She has made it abundantly clear that we are to drop a particular pic, beside the words, and it won't be one of her holding Jill, my older, (ancient, even), sister, on her day of birth. I'm not sure they even had cameras back then, anyway. So, there is no chance of that happening.

There is also no chance of my having an older sister anymore, after she reads this. She does, after all, have the paper delivered to Houston, so I'm in big trouble. As you can tell, I'm terribly worried about the whole deal.

That was my digression so I'm right on target, as usual, when it comes to penning this weekly punishment—I mean column.

Getting back to elementary school pictures accompanying the words printed about the person who passed away, I wonder why this is in vogue.

Certainly, immediate family must possess more than one picture of dear old Aunt Louise, which would better represent her actual looks, when she was alive and well.

If not, some relatives of Aunt Louise, or Uncle Edward, must own more recent pictures, from which to choose.

Well, I'm not sure what else can really be said about the obit quandary of December 2012. Therefore, I'm going to sign off for the week. I'm totally prepared for hate mail but, if that happens, then I really will TOTALLY blame Mother, even though I agreed with her. That's the way I roll, as the silly saying goes.

Right now, I'm off to dig out my baby picture for my own obituary. (I'm sure that some readers might be hoping for that particular obit to appear sooner, rather than later.)